Sydney School of Education and Social Work events - 2012 Archive

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Building a corpus of high-school texts

27 November 2012

First, you have to catch the rabbit ...

In an old joke about how to make rabbit stew, the punch line says, “First, you have to catch the rabbit”. In other words, making the stew is easy once this rather difficult first task is successfully completed. In this case, the research questions for my study seem fairly straightforward: what vocabulary do secondary school students in Aotearoa/New Zealand encounter in their reading? What vocabulary size is needed to read or comprehend those texts?

One way of attempting to answer these questions is to develop a corpus of secondary school texts. The current New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007) is based around an enquiry model of learning, which means there are no prescribed texts for teachers and students at secondary level. This talk discusses the development of the corpus in three major subject areas: English, Science, and Social Studies.

Afterwards, I will look at particular characteristics of the three subject areas and how they influence the development of the corpus. The current state of the corpus and the next steps in the project are also outlined, along with some opportunities for some good old-fashioned ANZAC collaboration.

Event details

  • When: 1.00pm - 2.00pm
  • Where:

    Lecture Theatre 459, Education Building A35, The University of Sydney

    Education Building A35

  • Cost: Free
  • Contact:

    Dr Aek Phakiti

    Senior Lecturer in TESOL

    E: | T: +61 2 9351 6312

  • Speaker/ Performer: Averil Coxhead is a senior lecturer in applied linguistics in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She is interested in many aspects of second-language vocabulary research, teaching and learning. Averil is currently working on several projects, including vocabulary-size testing and vocabulary-load research in high schools. 

Beyond Serious Games: Computational scientific inquiry with agent-based virtual environments for learning


31 October 2012

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